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Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Apr 23, 2022.
That one guy goan be out on the street if this keeps up, y’all
Entire market is taking a beating!
The locals are dominating the market now and it's not going to go back to how it was. I shudder to say it, but I think the long-standing stalwarts like Jim and others should think about going the way of Larry Bell.
They might be dominating the beer talk on the internet, but it sure doesn't look that way based on the TTB's numbers (2021 not out yet), from which this chart is adapted.
So, the bottom 95% of the licensed brewers in the US (15k barrelage or under, what the B.A. calls "microbreweries") account for about 3% of the beer brewed in the US.
According to the Report in the OP "... Shipment volume fell 25.1% to 1.7 million barrels in the first quarter..." - so they are on track to brew about 7 million barrels of beer (and seltzer, tea and other beverages), more than that same 95% of the brewers combined. That 1.7M bbl. in 3 months is more than any true "craft" brewer* makes a year (*outside of pre-craft, adjunct-brewer Yuengling).
Don't quite understand your point - Jim Koch? The guy who owns ALL of the voting (Class B) stock of the Boston Beer Co.?
The pendulum should swing back to the craft macros soon as they can deliver decent beer for considerably less money which is going to be something important if the economy tanks and inflation continues to soar.
Yeah JK, I figured the numbers still favored the big guys. SA has built quite a successful empire over many years, especially concerning distro saturation. But a lot of these local guys are doing this also, now. It's still relatively early in the big scheme but I think it's only a matter of time when the younger generations look past the big guys and go with the local stuff they see in the stores and at the brewpubs they can actually visit.
“Shipment volume fell 25.1% to 1.7 million barrels in the first quarter, driven by declines in the Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, and Dogfish Head brands, partly negated by gains in its Samuel Adams brand.”
I have read in the past about the non-Beer stuff not being as popular (e.g., Hard Seltzer, etc.) but this is the first that I have read that Dogfish Head sales have been declining. I wonder if this is a ‘backlash’ about Dogfish Head selling out to BBC?
Live by the seltzer, die by the seltzer.
Truly was booming until the big guys got into the seltzer game. Then they were muscled aside. The decline in Dogfish Head is interesting, though. Perhaps sales of DH have indeed been hurt by the (alleged) rise in popularity of strictly local brewers. DH is no longer "cutting edge" (remember the TV show?).
Well, Dogfish Head did recently release a "cutting edge" beer called Where the Wild Hops Are:
I thought about buying a six-pack but when I saw the high price I decided to not buy this beer. I bought something else, which was more reasonably priced, instead.
It’s a lot easier to connect with a business if the owner is in the brewery vs in the board room.
None of this is surprising to me:
Hard Seltzer was a fun new trend but then completely saturated the market. HS, like macro Lagers, is one of those beverages where they are similar enough that if you've tried a few, you've now tried most.
DFH is a bit "lost" now. Overpriced, way too many choices on the shelves at any given time because of all of the one-offs, then it all ages out on shelves.
Beer is just not the beverage it once was. Drinkers are becoming more health conscious and study after study is showing us that if you want to lose weight, don't drink beer.
SA is boring now and outside of a few random winners their whole lineup is mediocre and they are a fraction of their former selves in this area. And they seem to not want to listen to customers at all which alienates them further.
Now add in everything else we are seeing with the economy and inflation and this is the result.
Enlightening post. This drop in volume for Boston Beer shouldn't cripple the company. Their sales volume still at least approaches the company owned brewing capacity (primarily Allentown, Cincinnati, and Dogfish Head). The losses are probably temporary, due to contracted production at non-owned facilities. As long as they can keep their own breweries busy, they are OK. They are probably in better shape than most of the other regional and national craft brewers.
So are you saying DFH is lost for having too many one offs and Sam is boring, presumably for the opposite? Perhaps there’s now way for this company to win.
Not sorry for those 1st world beer company issues.
I, for one, am shocked. How can you not continue to succeed when you inundate the market with ten different seltzer variety packs in a market that is increasingly inundated with ten different seltzer varieties per competitor in a market that is already feeling fatigue?
I used to sell two full pallets a week of the White Claw Variety pack, the OG one. That was a normal week. Now, I sell like half a pallet of all the variety packs combined a week. Same goes with the Truly.
Forgive my harsh language and rhetoric coming up here but honestly the people asking for this stuff shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery, including cars at this point. And I've just about had it fielding the same six questions over and over every day for months on end.
Even among the masses of idiotic trend-chasing idiots that I encounter on a daily basis, seltzers are on the decline. The same degens asking for Happy Dad and the newest seltzer variety pack. In this forum, that should be cause for celebration (and my own, if I'm being honest) but something that we should all keep in mind is that malt beverage, i.e. seltzer, sales are tied into beer sales, this is going to put a squeeze on some things.
In the quarters to follow, the numbers will reflect "beer" and "seltzers" made by breweries and it shouldn't color your expectations of what it actually going on. When my company can be fucking bothered to update numbers, the last I saw was the craft (at least at my store TOTALLY ANECDOTAL DISCLAIMER) was actually up.
Unfortunately for all of us beer is one of the worst alcohols you can drink because it has alcohol + high calories + high carbs unless it is brewed to lower all of this e.g. light beers. Is drinking beer and working out better than drinking beer and not working out or not drinking beer and not working out? Sure, but that is just a lesser of the evil scenarios.
Moderation is great and any alcohol is technically bad but if you want the best case scenario while drinking generally you are going to want to avoid regular beer. And in the craft world this is especially true, as most decent beers are 6-7% and of course then the calories and carbs really add up.
In the Nov/Dec 2021 issue of Zymurgy magazine there was an article entitled "Brewing Light". The author (Nick Rodammer) spent his pandemic time brewing up a number of different beers using a myriad of strategies. A very interesting read.
In the last paragraph his lead sentence:
"While I doubt any homebrewers will suddenly decide to downside all their beers (and having done so for a year and a half I don't recommend it)."
IMO there are certain beer styles which are well suited for being 'light'. One of these days I need to brew a Mild Ale.
At this point, I personally do not care about the market movements of BBC or any other mass market / nation wide distributed brewery. There are industry people who get paid a boatload of money to read tea leaves. Good for them. They are not figuring it out lately.
I am much more interested in the success of my local brewer friends as they experiment with classic styles or invent something new. I have better beer conversations with these people then with any big industry talking head. I recall the latest and greatest saviour is CBD. No? How about Hard Seltzer? Whatever it is, just keep that stock price steady.
This matters to one billionaire CEO, a few dozen millionaire investors and exactly 0 BA's.
Bill, I am personally the same way and that was a part of why I started the thread/poll on "Do you drink local?"
I am not 100% sure I agree here. In the above mentioned thread I was reminded that I live in an area where there are many local breweries that make high quality beers. If instead I lived in an area which was quite different from mine I would likely be very interested in the larger, distributing breweries (e.g., BBC, Sierra Nevada, etc.) since they are likely the beers that are available for sale at my local supermarkets.
A related story, a few years ago my wife and I were camping at a State Park in Arkansas. We rented a cabin, which was more like a very nice house. We went to the local supermarket to get food and needless to say some beer. The 'best' option there was Sam Adams Boston Lager (which I hadn't had in a while). While sitting around the campfire later that evening those beers went down very well; a good 'match' for the circumstances.
I've been drinking more light beers (as in lower ABV) and it is quite the art and a tough balancing act (pun intended).
I agree. Plus in the beer world I think the trickle down effect is important competition-wise and the success of the bigger breweries can open the door to people exploring their local options and I have many personal stories about this, where beers like Blue Moon and SA allowed me to turn people on to Troegs, Victory, etc.
You are a more experienced beer drinker here; I agree with your statement of "quite the art and a tough balancing act".
In the article I referenced above, the author did a very good job discussing the various 'knobs' which can be tweaked in the brewing process to create a "light" beer (i.e., low in calories, low in carbohydrates, etc.). Below is not a complete list:
Use a mix of fermentables (e.g., differing malts, etc.) to create a flavorful beer with a substantial mouthfeel
Utilize a water profile high(er) in calcium and chloride
Step mash vs. single temperature infusion mash
Use yeast strains which produce 'extra' glycerol
As I discussed above I am of the opinion that certain beer styles are better suited to create "light" beers. I personally do not think that IPAs are well suited for the "lightening" process; I have been disappointed to varying degrees with every "Session IPA" that I have consumed.
I did some grocery shopping earlier today and browsed through the beer section and noticed a new beer from Dogfish Head: Mandarin & Mango Crush.
Apparently the second beer of their 2022 Art Series of beers.
After seeing the high price I continued my browsing and purchased another beer instead (more reasonably priced).
I saw a single of this recently but didn't grab it but I may one day, as I am curious. But I agree with you on the six pack price, that is too risky for their experimental beers for me.
Still waiting for it…
What are the prices of these Dogfish offerings? Just curious because you’ve mentioned twice in the past 2 days that you’ve passed them by for this reason.
They were $14 - $15.
My point, though more diatribe than eloquent prose, is that this is about the business of beer. The business is interesting enough. The business of billion dollar breweries is mostly tangential to beer though. Case in point; CBD and hard seltzer. It's no more interesting than the business of laundry detergent or peanut butter.
The fortunes of Boston Beer Company really do not have much bearing on what my local is doing. The sales chart of Twisted Tea is not going to have much effect on a great new Pils. And nobody I know at the bar stool is talking about it.
Similar situation in my area (Philly area).
Folks in other parts of the country may feel differently.
Thanks. I would have passed at that price point as well. Dogfish has missed too frequently over the past decade for me to consider them an automatic buy at this point.
Eagerly awaiting the Utopias barrel Beer for Breakfast (aka Scrapple beer)
Same here, I did grab a pack in TN that was under $12. I thought that was ok for a beer I think I will enjoy. Not had one yet as I’m cutting back. Trying to be around only 6 a week only on days I do not work the next day.
...I love a good mild ale and wish there were more commercial examples available...Tonewood's 'EMD' is a recent one I really enjoyed...and 'light' beers might very well be what I would consider a more traditional style of beer - less sugary adjuncts and a lower ABV - styles like an English mild, various lager styles (e.g., Vienna, helles, Czech/German pilsners, and even that old dark stalwart Guiness stout)...
...well, that's my fantasy beer world...
Or as Mariah would sing it:
“But it's just a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby”
He is a billionaire.
It's interesting the Sam Adams brand grew while everything else declined. I like an occasional hard cider with a shot of Tennessee Fire added, but I don't drink enough of that to justify a 6 pack--and no one around me sells singles any more. I tried exactly one hard seltzer in my life and didn't care for it--I'd rather just have a flavored seltzer water without any alcohol. I've never tried a hard lemonade or hard tea.
I think Sam Adams has a couple of problems--too much reliance on trendy malt beverages, and no light beer offerings (Dogfish Head does make Slightly Mighty, which isn't bad). I think their variety packs drive a lot of their business. Buying Dogfish Head was supposed to help them in the IPA category, but I feel like they've fallen behind the trends. I rarely see anything at my local stores beyond 60 and 90 minute and sometimes Slightly Mighty, and I agree with others that the prices are too high compared to other offerings.
The inflationary environment may actually improve their situation. I know lots of people who've already said "grocery prices have gone up so much, I've had to start buying the cheap beer." Sam Adams sells for the same price as macro imports around me (Heineken, Corona, etc.) and I'd pick up Sam over those any day of the week.
Nick also downsized his weight during the pandemic. He is a very good homebrewer that i know.
Have they tried brewing good beer? Or maybe they can increase the price of Utopia that'll solve all their issues